Joey (Concrete Blonde song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Single by Concrete Blonde
from the album Bloodletting
B-side"I Want You"
Songwriter(s)Johnette Napolitano
Concrete Blonde singles chronology
"Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)"
"Everybody Knows"
Audio sample

"Joey" is the ninth track from American alternative rock band Concrete Blonde's third studio album, Bloodletting (1990). The song was released in 1990 and was written and sung by the band's frontwoman, Johnette Napolitano. The song was written in a cab on the way to a photo studio in Philadelphia; it was the last vocal recorded on the album due to Napolitano's reluctance to record the lyrics, which were hard for her to deal with.[1]

The song became the group's biggest hit, spending four weeks atop the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and crossing over to pop radio, reaching number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100; it remains their only charting song on the latter listing. The song also reached number two in Australia and ended 1990 as Australia's sixteenth best-selling single. In Canada, "Joey" reached number four on the RPM Top Singles chart and was ranked number 53 on the magazine's year-end chart for 1990.


Napolitano mentioned in her book Rough Mix that the song was written about her relationship with Marc Moreland of the band Wall of Voodoo.

In a 2013 interview with SongFacts' Dan MacIntosh, Napolitano described the process for writing "Joey" as starting with a wordless melody, to which lyrics were eventually added.[1] According to Napolitano, she avoided writing the lyrics to "Joey" until the last possible moment due to the difficult nature of the subject matter. In her words,

"I knew what I wanted to say, but I wasn't looking forward to saying it. So it was the last vocal that I recorded. And I remember Chris every day, "Do we have vocals to 'Joey' yet? Do we have words to 'Joey' yet?" And I'm like, "Not yet." So I literally wrote them in a cab. I knew what I was going to say, it's just a matter of like a cloud's forming and then it rains. The lines are forming in my head and they're all in my head, and I know the chorus, and I know what I'm going to say. It's just a matter of fine tuning the details and how I'm going to lug it out. And then it rains. The clouds all formed and it rained. And then it happened. And that was it. And it was just there."[1]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Joey" was directed by Jane Simpson.[2] The Recording Academy has described the video as "[illustrating] this love triangle in the truest sense, spotlighting frontwoman Johnette Napolitano performing for an audience of one in a dark, dungeonesque bar. The lone member of the crowd could only be Napolitano's lovesick lover... who's only sick for the bottle of alcohol from which he can't avert his eyes."[3]

The video for "Joey" achieved Buzz Bin status on MTV in 1990.[4] A digitally remastered version of the video was uploaded to YouTube on March 12, 2009.[5]

Track listings[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
United States 1990 Cassette I.R.S.
Australia May 21, 1990
  • 7-inch vinyl
  • cassette
United Kingdom October 15, 1990
  • 7-inch vinyl
  • 12-inch vinyl
  • CD

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde : Songwriter Interviews". February 8, 2013. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  2. ^ Willman, Chris (October 13, 1990). "Brat Pack makes strong showing in video clips". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  3. ^ "The inside story of Concrete Blonde's "Joey"". May 15, 2017. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  4. ^ "The Clip List" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 102, no. 33. August 18, 1990. p. 64. Retrieved January 11, 2022 – via World Radio History.
  5. ^ Concrete Blonde - Joey (Official Video), archived from the original on December 15, 2021, retrieved May 29, 2020
  6. ^ Joey (US cassette single sleeve). Concrete Blonde. I.R.S. Records. 1990. 4 JM 13803.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  7. ^ Joey (Canadian cassette single sleeve). Concrete Blonde. I.R.S. Records. 1990. IRSC 73014.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  8. ^ Joey (US CD single disc notes). Concrete Blonde. I.R.S. Records. 1990. EIRSCD 143.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  9. ^ Joey (European maxi-CD single disc notes). Concrete Blonde. I.R.S. Records. 1990. 24 1064 2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  10. ^ "Concrete Blonde – Joey". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  11. ^ "Concrete Blonde – Joey" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 1327." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  13. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 47, 1990" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  14. ^ "Concrete Blonde – Joey" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  15. ^ "Hot 100 A–Z". Billboard. Vol. 102, no. 45. November 10, 1990. p. 95.
  16. ^ "Hot Adult Contemporary". Billboard. Vol. 102, no. 46. November 17, 1990. p. 81.
  17. ^ "Album Rock Tracks". Billboard. Vol. 102, no. 31. August 4, 1990. p. 13.
  18. ^ "Modern Rock Tracks". Billboard. Vol. 102, no. 28. July 14, 1990. p. 16.
  19. ^ Downey, Pat; Albert, George; Hoffman, Frank (1994). Cash Box Pop Singles Charts, 1950-1993. Englewood, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited, Inc. p. 73. ISBN 1563083167. Retrieved January 2, 2022.
  20. ^ a b "ARIA Top 50 Singles for 1990". ARIA. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  21. ^ "Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1990". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  22. ^ "Platterlog: Singles – New Releases – 21 May 1990". Platterlog. May 21, 1990. Retrieved September 2, 2022 – via Imgur.
  23. ^ "New Singles". Music Week. October 13, 1990. p. 39.